The Sensible Way
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Swimming Pool


Swimming pool safety entails using alot of common sense, and yet accidents continue to happen at swimming pools across the country.  This post from the Association of Pool and Spa professionals presents this handy packet with guidelines for drowning prevention.  The main point that seems to always get lost is that there is no substitution for Adult Supervision, no matter what other precautions are in place.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

The Moving Target of Swimming Pool Safety Compliance

by John Gitzinger, Director of Commercial Service, Platinum Poolcare


The current state of affairs

The relationship between condominium/townhome associations and their swimming pools has become more and more complicated over the last 3 to 4 years. Many factors have contributed to this complexity, which include: The Virginia Graeme Baker Act (VGB), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the requirement of CPO certification and the more active policing role played by the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH). The IDPH has closed many a pool for failure to meet the minimum requirements of the new VGB code, and safety seems to be at the top of the list for IDPH enforcement agents this year. Trying to learn all code requirements for swimming pools can appear to be a daunting task, as those who take care of the pool without the help of guards or attendants can attest.

IDPH and Cook County are looking closely at existing facilities to determine code compliance, and have begun to levy fines on properties deemed to not to have met minimum code requirements. Additionally, these agencies are issuing monetary fines for properties for not completing the minimum repairs required to meet the code in a timely fashion. The agencies have historically been noting these warnings on the inspection reports, and are now turning to enforcement for laggards. The associated fines are generally assessed on a per diem basis, and will add up quickly if not addressed.

Many association pools are granted "grandfather" status, thereby reverting to past code requirements for compliance. Every issue is not necessarily covered under this exception, however, and certain renovation projects may require the association to bring additional seemingly unrelated safety items up to current minimum standards. It is important to understand that while some renovation work does not require an IDPH permit, most work done on the swimming pool actually will. For example, IDPH will require a permit for any changes to existing equipment unless it is an exact replacement. This is true even if the existing equipment is undersized, or incorrectly installed. It is the responsibility of the association to make sure all permits have been obtained and all inspections have been completed.

Lawmaker Seeks Relief for Noncompliant Facilities

By Dan Schechner

One of the states most active in implementing federal safety measures may allow pools to open this season regardless of whether they comply with the law.

Illinois Rep. Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) has introduced a bill that would provide temporary relief to scores of public and semipublic facilities that have shown good faith in moving toward compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, but have been held up by bureaucratic or financial roadblocks.

"While I understand the reason behind the law,

by Eric Herman

With the summer of 2011 and the great drain recall in the rear-view mirror, issues surrounding suction-entrapment accidents continue to challenge the pool and spa industry. Here senior editor and long-time industry observer Eric Herman raises some lingering questions and applies a helpful dose of common sense in an attempt to find a measure of clarity amid a decidedly confusing set of problems.

It's a subject that continues to dominate discussions in the pool and spa industry and cause no small measures of grief and frustration along the way. Any way you slice it, suction entrapment is a serious problem and until these incidents are completely eliminated, our industry is going to bear the stigma that comes along with it.

It's been nearly four decades since the CPSC began tracking


The Illinois Department of Public Health has shut down more than 500 swimming pools across the state, including 10 at Southland high schools and dozens of other area locations from hotels to condo associations to community pools.

The pools were closed as of Saturday because they were not equipped with new, safer drains. Pools that were closed include those at Argo, Homewood-Flossmoor, Mount Carmel, Reavis, T.F. South and Thornton high schools, and four Bremen Community High School District 228 schools: Oak Forest, Tinley Park, Bremen and Hillcrest.

District 228 Supt. Bill Kendall said getting the permits needed for the new drains

CPSC Changes VGB Rule

by Scott Webb

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to reverse its earlier ruling on unblockable drains under VGB. Before the vote yesterday, an approved 18-by-23-inch drain cover could legally be used over a smaller sump in a single drain commercial pool. Now, the sump must also be at least 18 by 23 inches, or the pool will have to install other anti-entrapment measures, such as split drains, vent pipes, SVRS systems, etc.

Pools that met the old VGB criteria, using an approved drain cover over a smaller sump, will have to invest in equipment or renovations to meet the requirements of the new ruling.

At one point in discussions, a new compliance date of May 28, 2012, was proposed, but in its final statement, the CPSC announced